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Poll: Most say sequester has not impacted them

Polling analysis by Sarah Dutton, Jennifer De Pinto, Anthony Salvanto and Fred Backus

Two months after the sequester carved blindly and deeply into the U.S. budget's military and domestic programs, with President Obama and Republicans unable to strike an agreement on deficit reduction, Americans remain divided as to how dramatically those cuts will affect the economy, a new CBS News poll shows.

As Congress and the White House finish work on averting Federal Aviation Administration furloughs after flight delays started to become more than just an impending fear of sequestration's impact, 35 percent of Americans believe the automatic spending cuts will have no effect. Nearly half - 46 percent - expect the sequester to hurt the economy; just one in 10 Americans think the cuts will help the economy.

The Sequester Will...

Americans with higher incomes are less likely to think the sequester cuts will harm the economy. Thirty-nine percent of those with annual household incomes over $100K a year think those spending cuts will hurt the economy, but that number rises to 49 percent among Americans earning less. Among those earning more than $100K, 12 percent believe the sequester will help the economy; 45 percent think it will have no effect. For those making less than $100K, those percentages are 9 and 32 percent, respectively.

Have You Been Personally Affected by the Sequester?

Most Americans - 69 percent - say they have not been impacted by the sequester spending cuts. But more than a quarter say they have been personally affected at least somewhat, though just 8 percent say it has affected them a great deal, with 19 percent saying it has affected them only somewhat.


This poll was conducted by telephone from April 24-28, 2013 among 965 adults nationwide. Phone numbers were dialed from samples of both standard land-line and cell phones. The error due to sampling for results based on the entire sample could be plus or minus three percentage points. The error for subgroups may be higher. This poll release conforms to the Standards of Disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.

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